Too many cooks
“Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.” (123:4)
I wonder about things sometimes. I wonder if it’s just me or if there’s something greater at large from which people take a cue to act standoffish and “proud”. Or maybe I’m just super-sensitive and beset with a higher-than-average number of complexes and such. And mind you, this is when I work up from a few key points (like how I believe God is real and there’re things going on in the world around me that are invisible) and then include notions I sense at large and in public. Lest you think I’m crazy, I have gotten corroboration from friends and acquaintances alike. Even from those I don’t know. Let me back up here a bit. Because this isn’t about anyone but myself.
A city of brotherly love
“And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
The thought of a philly cheese steak came to me the other day. I mentioned it to a lady I was talking to under the opening line of “are you familiar with synasthesia?”. She was. I asked her if she knew of a good place in town to get one of those sandwiches. She didn’t. She asked what brought it on and I told her “nothing”. It just, sort-of came to me ex nihilo–out of nothing. She then proffered that it might be something else. At which point, I was reminded of a dream I had in my early twenties in which the far end of my old neighborhood was in fact Philadelphia–“The City of Brotherly Love” (that’s what the word means in Greek). It was grungy and dark. In the dream it was Winter. I was surprised to see my hometown turn from something familiar into something altogether different, urban, and actually, kind of exciting. So, I suppose this would be what the flavorful thought pointed to. Because that’s how it came, I tasted it and then saw the brown of the roast beef with the green of the bell peppers on the bread with the white cheese–in my mind. Brief and fleeting. The words “philly cheese steak” didn’t enter the equation. And as I believe things like this are God speaking to me, I would have to say that it centers around the necessarily spiritual aspect of the whole thing. Which would be “brotherly love”. Anytime God speaks, it’s at once eminently personal, grounded in His word (hence the scripture from 1 Peter above) and also directed outward so as to bless others.
I reference the quote from Muller in part one because, I believe, intermingled within all the “color” and “sound” and “thought”–as well as taste, touch, sight and smell–is God. I believe He’s in there by His Holy Spirit facilitating the whole matter. Here’s another example from my mind. But first, Paul Cezanne:
“Light is a thing that cannot be reproduced, but must be represented by something else–by color.”
One night I fell asleep while listening to “Limelight” on repeat. A strange thing happened as I entered the dream-state. I saw the interior of my old kindergarten classroom and superimposed on the middle distance were two neon yellow phospenes (the bright spots of light when you poke your eyelid when your eye’s shut) in my field of vision. I was asleep and dreaming but still a tad awake. Enough to be lucid enough to observe what was going on. Now, remember, the music’s playing through all this. Toward the end of the guitar solo and before the last refrain, the color and the high-pitched whine of the guitar solo became one. It was already my favorite song and I hadn’t gone to sleep that night wondering what would happen if I experimented with music. But I can tell you that now, whenever I listen to the it, the color is present on the field of my mind. The notes and the hue are–to me–the same. But the reason I gravitated to the song in the first place was more for the lyrics than anything. They speak to the shutting out of those who would only pretend to know you and be your friend. Also to the endeavoring to become real by “get[ting]on with the fascination, the real relation, the underlying theme”.
Here’s the thing about these two instances, I believe that they are in line with God speaking–that they are God speaking. Because they necessarily include so much more than words and definitions. God is not bound by anything but our unbelief. And He will most definitely work around that. But the thing for me is listening for His voice. We must realize that any impulse of impression of fleeting feeling we sense could be Him trying to say something. Take it to Him and see where it leads you. You could find yourself in an altogether different city or back in your kindergarten classroom. God can mix in all our senses to get His point, His message across. Out of all our thoughts, the millions and millions, His voice will rise to the surface.
To be continued.